Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bill Gates taking on state budgets and education

 by Olga LaPlante

This is an interesting talk by Bill Gates. Of course, his main point we need to spend money on education, and disallow state level cuts to school budgets, including universities. He believes that this problem is solvable but – and this I like – we need to draw people in this discussion and search for solutions.

It's certainly a divisive topic. It seems that Bill Gates takes certain things at their face value without questioning them (for instance, the fact that in a failing economy and general price suppression, the tuition has defied the trend like helium balloons, and is so high in the sky you can't see the tuition rates from here). He also promotes the idea that teachers need to be effective and need to be incentivized (the implication is money) in order to work well. While I agree that compensation must be appropriate, this alone is not the incentive to work well with kids. And to be effective, how does one define effectiveness (it sounds like we are back to standardized test results, oh boy!).

Anyway, check this out and tell us what you think.

Bill Gates TED Talk